What Next

America’s Top Elections Official Isn’t Happy

She wants to protect U.S. elections. Here’s why she can’t.

Illustration depicting a female with a microphone

Listen longer

Slate Plus members get ad-free versions of all Slate podcasts, plus extra segments, bonus episodes, and more. Try it today for just $1.

Join Slate Plus

Episode Notes

The Federal Election Commission was designed to prevent the parties from going rogue with overly punitive campaign finance regulations. But what’s paralyzed FEC is something less partisan, and more principled: Democrats think the government should enforce campaign spending laws. Republicans don’t.

Guest: Ellen Weintraub, Federal Election Commission chair

Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Jayson De Leon, Danielle Hewitt, and Mara Silvers.


About the Show

The problem with the news right now? It’s everywhere. And each day, it can feel like we’re all just mindlessly scrolling. It’s why we created What Next. This short daily show is here to help you make sense of things. When the news feels overwhelming, we’re here to help you answer: What next? Look for new episodes every weekday morning.

All episodes


  • Mary Harris is the host and managing editor of What Next, Slate's new daily news podcast. She has reported throughout the public radio system, for NPR, Marketplace, and WNYC.